Ohio Extends School Closures Until May 1

The Ohio Department of Health is extending its order to keep schools closed through the end of April, Gov. Mike DeWine announced.

The previous order was to expire on April 3, but the new directive extends the closure through May 1.

The decision is the latest action to slow the spread of COVID-19 in Ohio, where there are 1,933 confirmed cases and 39 deaths.

“There is the real possibility that our schools could stay closed longer than this, but we want to give parents and teachers as much notice and flexibility as we can,” DeWine said in a news release. “Schools should continue to do what they’re doing now – providing the best remote learning that they can, serving meals to students in new ways, and planning for what the rest of the year may look like.”

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Carol Swain Commentary: Coronavirus and the Politics Behind It

On March 12, 2020, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared the human coronavirus a pandemic, which is defined as a global outbreak of a disease. The existence of the coronavirus has created a worldwide panic. Among the things I don’t understand: why this virus, compared with others before it, warrants shutting down the United States and killing its economy. Our nation survived 9/11, Swine Flu, and H1N1. But coronavirus (COVID-19), together with the politics behind it, threatens to annihilate us.

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Chinese Biologist Carrying Suspected SARS and MERS Samples Attempted to Enter the US Through Detroit Metro Airport

Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officials prevented a Chinese national from sneaking undeclared biological materials into the United States in late 2018, roughly one year before the COVID-19 pandemic broke out in the Chinese city of Wuhan.

An unnamed Chinese biologist carrying suspected vials of Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) arrived at the Detroit Metro Airport in November 2018, according to an FBI tactical intelligence report obtained by Yahoo News.

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DOJ IG Checked 29 More FBI Spy Warrants, and Found Problems with All of Them

The Justice Department’s Office of the Inspector General has a “lack of confidence” in the FBI’s procedures to validate information used to obtain spy warrants on American citizens, the watchdog said in a report released Tuesday.

The Office of the Inspector General (OIG) found errors in all 29 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) warrant applications that were subject to the review.

The audit is a follow-up to an investigation of the FBI’s surveillance of Carter Page, the former Trump campaign aide.

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Gannett Newspaper to Furlough Journalists

Newspaper giant Gannett announced Monday it will begin furloughing employees across the country over the next three months to cut costs during the economic slowdown caused by the novel coronavirus.

The Hill reports, “the publisher of more than 100 newspapers, including USA Today, the Detroit Free Press, The Columbus Dispatch and The Arizona Republic, is reportedly furloughing workers who make more than $38,000 a year and they will be required to take one week of unpaid leave per month in April, May, and June, according to a tweet from investigative reporter Gregory Holman of the Springfield News-Leader in Missouri, a Gannett-owned paper.”

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Professor Warns Coronavirus Campus Closures Could Have ‘Big Implications’ for 2020 Census

Campus closures because of the coronavirus pandemic could lead to students being undercounted in the 2020 Census, at least according to one professor at Texas A&M University.

Professor Dudley Poston, who teaches sociology, wrote an op-ed for The Conversation explaining how undercounting could occur, and how it could financially affect college communities. He argued that self-isolating at home, which for students means possibly returning to live with their parents, could affect “where and if they are counted.”

“And that could have big implications,” he added.

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China Acknowledges Underreporting Coronavirus Cases

A top Chinese health official said Wednesday that the government will begin counting coronavirus patients without symptoms in its official tally of cases of the virus, in what is a tacit acknowledgement that Beijing has underreported data on the pandemic.

China’s National Health Commission disclosed that the government is monitoring 1,541 people who have tested positive for coronavirus but have no symptoms.

Chang Jile, the head of the health agency, said at a press conference in Wuhan that the government will start reporting asymptomatic patient numbers Wednesday.

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Model Cited by White House Officials Projects Ohio Hospitals Have Enough Capacity to Handle State’s Upcoming Coronavirus Peak

  A new epidemiological model cited by White House officials shows that Ohio hospitals have sufficient regular hospital bed and ICU hospital bed capacity for when the peak of the coronavirus hits the state in the upcoming weeks. According to the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME) model, Ohio…

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DeWine Thanks President Trump for Approving Plan for Battelle to Sterilize Hundreds of Thousands of Protective Masks

Ohio Governor Mike DeWine and Lt. Governor Jon Husted on Sunday thanked President Trump and Dr. Stephen Hahn of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for approving a plan to sterilize N95 masks to fight the coronavirus.

Earlier Sunday, DeWine called an emergency press conference to express his “deep disappointment” with the FDA for limiting the use of the new technology, The Ohio Star reported.

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Commentary: Joe Biden’s China Syndrome Will Sink His Shaky Presidential Hopes

Mark Twain once famously said, “Everybody complains about the weather, but nobody does anything about it.”*

Twain said and wrote a lot of quirky/funny things in his lifetime but this particular observation is one of his most relevant and quotable because its analogical truth fits just about any situation. And the wisdom certainly works these days when thinking about the hegemonic and totalitarian nation that is communist China. American politicians have been griping and moaning about Asia’s self-possessed and secretive Middle Kingdom for a generation, but none — except for President Donald Trump — ever seriously proposed backing up the rhetoric with actual policy gravitas.

Trump’s concentration and emphasis on trade has been a refreshing departure from previous presidents of both parties who waxed poetically about “fair trade” and “helping American producers” but then went about making sure global powers like China had much leeway to dictate their own terms for sending goods across the seas while maintaining barriers to United States-made products at home. In China’s case, the country has manipulated its currency for years so as to protect Chinese industries — a gigantic corporate welfare subsidy that makes consumer goods — and everything else — appear inexpensive to the world’s buying public.

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The Department of Justice Is Probing Senator Richard Burr’s Stock Trades: Report

The Justice Department is probing a series of stock trades that Senate Intelligence Committee Chairman Richard Burr (R-NC) made in the weeks after receiving briefings about the coronavirus pandemic, CNN reported.

The Justice Department is coordinating with the Securities and Exchange Commission on the matter, and the FBI has contacted Barr, a North Carolina Republican, according to CNN, which cited two people familiar with the matter.

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FDA Issues Emergency Authorization Of Anti-Malaria Drugs As Doctors Herald Results For Coronavirus Patients

The United States Food and Drug Administration issued an emergency use authorization for donated anti-malaria drugs hydroxychloroquine sulfate and chloroquine phosphate as doctors say the drugs are showing positive results for coronavirus patients.

The FDA issued the authorization to allow doctors to distribute and prescribe the anti-malaria drugs to hospitalized teen and adult patients who have coronavirus, the Department of Health and Human Services said in a press release. Doctors may distribute and prescribe the drugs “as appropriate, when a clinical trial is not available or feasible.”

The emergency authorization was issued to the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response’s Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority, which is working with the National Institute of Health to plan clinical trials of the drugs.

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Commentary: Viral Prerequisites and Nationalist Lessons in a Time of Plague

President Donald Trump has courted endless controversies for promoting nonconventional policies and entertaining contrarian views. From the outset, he oddly seemed to have believed that having navigated the jungles of the Manhattan real estate market – crooked politicians, mercurial unions, neighborhood social activists, the green lobby, leery banks, cutthroat rivals – better prepared him for the job than did a 30-year tenure in the U.S. Senate.

Certainly, candidate and then President Trump’s strident distrust of China was annoying to the American establishment. The Left saw China in rosy terms as the “Other” that just did things like airports, high-speed rail, and solar panels better than did America’s establishment of geriatric white male has-beens. Many on the Right saw China as a cash cow that was going to take over anyway, so why not milk it before the deluge?

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Trump Administration Includes Unaccompanied Minors in Border Closure Order

Customs and Border Protection (CBP) confirmed that underage minors who unlawfully enter the United States without any parents or guardians are subject to immediate deportation, the latest action in response to the coronavirus pandemic.

The Trump administration, under orders from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), earlier in March declared that the northern and southern borders would be sealed off to all non-essential traffic as a way to mitigate the spread of COVID-19. While nearly all illegal aliens would be immediately repatriated under the order, CBP originally made an exception for unaccompanied minors.

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Pro-Trump Super PAC Files FEC Complaint Alleging Bloomberg’s $18 Million DNC Donation Was Illegal

A political action committee  supporting President Donald Trump filed a complaint with the Federal Election Commission saying former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s donation to the Democratic Party was illegal.

Bloomberg’s $18 million donation to the Democratic National Committee is an attempt to circumvent contribution limits and violate campaign finance laws, Great America PAC said in the March 26 complaint. The FEC is reviewing the complaint and will determine later if it will investigate.

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Fauci Says US Could Potentially Have 200,000 Coronavirus Deaths but Cautions Projections Are A Moving Target And Could Easily Mislead People

Dr. Anthony Fauci, the government’s top expert on infectious diseases, predicted Sunday that the United States will end up with “millions” of cases of coronavirus and up to 200,000 deaths by the time the pandemic ends, though he cautioned that any projection of mortality statistics could “easily” end up being wrong.

“Looking at what we’re seeing now, I would say between 100,000-200,000 [deaths],” Fauci said in an interview on CNN’s “State of the Union.”

“We’re going to have millions of cases.”

As of Sunday, the United States has more than 125,000 confirmed cases of coronavirus, and nearly 2,200 deaths. Fauci and other health officials expect those numbers to rise dramatically over the next few weeks as people infected with coronavirus begin showing symptoms and going into the hospital.

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Commentary: The Private Sector Will Play a Key Role in Combating Coronavirus in Ohio

President Trump’s emphasis on collaborating with U.S. businesses will go a long way toward allowing us to curb the coronavirus outbreak in Ohio and across the country. 

The President has been hard at work implementing a bold and innovative strategy to address the evolving global health crisis. In addition to restrictions on international travel, which limited the early spread of the disease in our communities, President Trump has also negotiated deals with some of America’s largest businesses, which are eager to do their part to stop the coronavirus pandemic.

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ICE Is Using Its Deportation Flights to Bring Home Americans Stuck Abroad

ICE Air Operations, the air transportation arm of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), has so far rescued 466 U.S. citizens stranded in the Northern Triangle region of Central America amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Following orders of final removal, ICE deported Salvadoran and Honduran nationals back to their home countries on Friday. On the return leg of these flights, the agency took aboard U.S. citizens who were stranded due to COVID-19 lockdowns, according to an ICE press release.

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Plummeting Oil Prices Are Not Reflected in California’s Price at the Pump

Tennessee Star

Gas prices are falling all over the country as oil prices tumble, yet prices are still relatively high in California, where environmental polices are restricting how oil refineries can produce gasoline.

The price of a gallon of gas has plummeted in Ohio to around $1 in part because Americans are self-isolating to avoid spreading the novel coronavirus. The average price dropped 35.1 cents over the past month, according to data from the AAA and Oil Price Information Service.

A BP station in Kentucky, for instance, posted a price below $1 a gallon, The Washington Post reported Thursday. Four other stations in Oklahoma City followed suit, along with another in Paris, Tennessee. The national average for gas on Thursday was $2.03, down from $2.41 at the beginning of March.

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Commentary: Remembering Senator Tom Coburn – He Stood Tall for Taxpayers

Former Sen. Tom Coburn was a hero among fiscal conservatives and endless source of inspiration and courage. The Oklahoma Republican embodied financial stewardship, always showing great respect for the hard-earned tax dollars of working Americans.

Coburn, who died late Friday at 72, helped the American people better understand the size and scope of Washington’s spending problem by highlighting government waste.

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Dutch Government Recalls More than a Half-Million Faulty Chinese-Made N95 Masks for Treating COVID-19 Patients

Hundreds  of thousands of Chinese-made KN95 protective masks distributed to hospitals treating the COVID-19 Chinese coronavirus in the Netherlands have proven to be unreliable and are being recalled, according to a report.

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Commentary: The Reach of Nancy Pelosi Goes Far Beyond the Halls of Congress

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi turned 80 on Thursday. In the runup to that milestone, Pelosi launched impeachment proceedings against President Trump, who was duly acquitted. By way of follow-up, she decided to block the Senate’s coronavirus response package earlier this week, and on Monday offered a 1,200-page version of her own chock full of goodies meant to keep the Ocasio-Cortez-Tlaib-Omar squad in line.

And behind the scenes, Pelosi is pulling the strings on the Golden State.

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Commentary: What Price Should China Pay for Causing the Coronavirus Pandemic?

The coronavirus pandemic thus far has spread to more than 145 countries, causing high levels of infection and thousands of deaths. The worldwide costs of combating COVID-19, including efforts to overcome severe economic hardships for millions of people and organizations, undoubtedly will amount to many trillions of dollars.

There is widespread agreement and indisputable proof that the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) and its leaders are directly responsible for the worldwide spread of COVID-19.

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FDA Allows Ohio Company to Make Unlimited Use of Face Mask Sterilizer After Trump, DeWine Intervene

Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine called an emergency press conference Sunday to express his “deep disappointment” with the Food and Drug Administration for limiting the use of a new technology to sterilize face masks.

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Commentary: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly in the Coronavirus Stimulus

The House of Representatives on Friday passed the Senate’s $2 trillion coronavirus relief package and sent it to the president. What initially began as a bill designed to help the workers and families hurt by job loss or disruption caused by government measures to fight coronavirus morphed into an 880-page behemoth.

Here are the highlights: the good, the bad, and the ugly.

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Gov. DeWine’s Claim Ohio Will Reach Peak of 10,000 Coronavirus Cases Per Day Based on Modeling Sleight of Hand, Questionable Evidence, and Unidentified Researchers

  Gov. Mike DeWine claimed in a Friday press conference that projections based on a controversial model introduced earlier this month by Ohio Department of Health Director Amy Acton show hospitals in Ohio will be hit hard by the coronavirus in the upcoming weeks. While the daily increase of confirmed…

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Commentary: A Buy American Executive Order Can End China’s Control of Our Medicines

With all we are facing today, with all the fear and outright transformation of our entire society, it might seem odd that a group of medical organizations would sign a letter opposing American independence in the production of medicines and medical equipment. You would think that in the crisis these groups would want to see America move toward a strong, independent position. But you would be wrong.

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Economist Recommends Ohio Use Federal Stimulus to Bolster Unemployment Insurance Trust Fund

Following Ohio’s shocking unemployment rate increase of 2,565 percent, one economist says the COVID-19 coronavirus’ economic impact will be “long lasting” and provides a list of recommendations.

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Omar and Bernie Ask Bezos for Answers About Amazon’s Efforts to Slow COVID-19 Spread

Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) and Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN-05) sent a letter Friday to Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos asking for “detailed information” about his plans to protect warehouse workers from the coronavirus.

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DeWine May Cut State Budgets by Up to 20 Percent, But Public Sector Cannot Match Loss of Private Sector’s 188K Lost Jobs

Even as Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine orders state departments to cut up to 20 percent of their budgets and implement a hiring freeze, state workers are not feeling the coronavirus economic burn like the private sector.

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